Our research team dug deep into every reliable source we could find on the Birch Gold Group, also called BGG or just "Birch" for short. Overall, we have ranked the company as one of the top five in its industry, but not in the number one spot. You'll discover the reasons below.
It's essential for anyone who's interested in a gold IRA to realize that the marketplace is still relatively new, and consumers are still getting acquainted with all it has to offer.
So, in fairness to Birch, it will probably be two or three years before the market shakes out completely and several elite firms in this niche rise to the uppermost echelon of the rankings. What are the current facts?
BGG has been around for longer than most of its closest competitors. Established nearly two decades ago, in 2003, the organization has built a solid reputation in the alternative IRA investments space.
Birch's products and services menu includes a nice lineup of all the precious metals products most investors are looking for. And while BGG has chosen TV celebrity Ben Shapiro as their main public spokesperson, along with the recent addition of former Congress Member Ron Paul, there is no openness about who's on the management team.
BGG is not for the casual investor, mainly because they have relatively high minimum investment thresholds and higher-than-normal fees. For anyone who only has a small sum to invest into a gold IRA, they might find Birch Gold's structure a bit on the high end of the economic scale. Other than that, in the area of ratings and complaints, as well as products and services, Birch scores strong numbers on any objective ranking scale.
Our research team checked out all the details, which you'll see below. They include a pertinent list of pros and cons, the company's history, ratings and complaints, fees, an evaluation of the Birch website, how investors can get started, the latest contact info for BGG, informative FAQs, and an alternative to Birch for investors who like to have at least one alternative to consider.
Here's a quick outline of what our team came up with when they analyzed Birch Gold Group:
Birch Gold Group (BGG) In-Depth Review: Contents
Pros & Cons
Like many other leaders in the gold-backed IRA industry, Birch Gold Group has many more positive than negative qualities. That's apparent from the long lists of pros and cons that our team checked out. Here are the summarized points based on what we discovered.
Company Overview, History, and Summary
Birch is an elite player in the precious metals (PM) IRA sector. Since 2003, the Burbank-headquartered firm has been offering a long menu of metals to investors who want to set up gold-backed IRAs, store the bullion in an IRS-approved vault, and enjoy the oversight of a trusted custodian and secure storage company. Birch offers the four PMs to its clients, namely, palladium, platinum, silver, and gold.
There are multiple forms of metals for buyers to choose from, including coins, ingots, bars, rounds, and IRS-approved premium gold coins. Birch also offers a few numismatic coins that are not suitable for IRAs but are popular among metals investors generally. The Birch website explains that people who want to diversify their portfolios should consider PMs as a basic form of IRA investing.
The explanation by the company is that metals like gold can help people preserve their long-term purchasing power and shield them against financial losses during tough economic times, inflation and recessions being the two main examples. The goal of Birch is to facilitate the setup of gold-backed IRAs as a way for investors to diversify their holdings.
Birch is one of the more reputable members of this business sector, has been around longer than most in the industry, has a long menu of metallic offerings, excels at customer service, and makes every effort to deal with customers' questions, complaints, and inquiries in a timely manner.
Products, Complaints, and Ratings
Birch offers a long list of products for clients who want to include gold, silver, platinum, palladium, or any combination of those metals, to their IRAs. Considering that BGG has been in business for nearly two full decades and serviced a huge number of customers, the company has a low number of complaints.
Potential investors can check out the Birch page at the Better Business Bureau to see their A+ rating as well as a history of the complaints and resolutions of each one. It's significant that Birch Gold Group is quick to respond to any complaints on the BBB website and resolve each one.
Elsewhere on the internet, there are thousands of reviews about Birch, and the vast majority of them, across the board, are positive. It's probably fair to say that for every so-so or negative review on verified sites, there are 100 or more positive ones.
Fees & Prices
Birch Gold Group's fee structure is relatively easy to understand, even if they are not listed on their main website. For account setup, customers pay $50, but there is an additional $30 charge for wire transfers. Yearly storage charges are $100, and the annual administration fee on all accounts is $80. These fees and charges are in line with BGG's competitors.
The BGG Management Team and Website
We've combined information about the company website along with data about its management team under a single heading. Each section is short and includes the pertinent facts potential investors should know before making a final decision about their IRAs.
The official company website, as well as other internet resources, show no precise information about BGG's management team, directors, or major team members. The sole exception is the company's CFO, Karlo Vartan, who resides in California. Business listings note that the BGG organization employs between 50 and 200 people in its operation.
There's a blanket statement on the Birch website about the management team, but it lists no specific names, noting only that there is a "dynamic team" who are "former wealth managers, financial advisors, and commodity brokers" who help customers with all their metals-backed IRA needs.
As noted above, Birch maintains a "partnership," but mainly a promotional one, with celebrities Ben Shapiro and Ron Paul. Shapiro is a political commentator with a vast following, and Paul is a former member of the US House of Representatives who has long championed the private ownership of gold.
The Birch Gold Group Website
The official BGG website, at www.birchgold.com, is better than most in the industry. It features a scrolling list of current metals prices as well as a news and information scroll of stories about investing, gold, their partners, and breaking economic headlines. The company is careful to gear all the main page information to potential investors. There's a sign-up form to request information or a free investing kit.
There are tabs across the top for visitors to learn about the company, see all the products on the Birch menu, explore the topic of gold-backed IRAs, a detailed education section, and a "Contact Us" page as well. The Birch website is easy to navigate and find whatever you want once you're there. Compared to competitor sites, it's a superior product and obviously was built and designed by someone who knows how to incorporate user-friendliness.
Why a Gold IRA, and How To Get Started?
It's crucial for prospective investors to know about the advantages of gold-backed IRAs and to learn the specific steps for getting started should they choose to open an account with Birch.
Why Open a Gold IRA?
The main reason for opening a traditional IRA is to gain many tax advantages. For example, account holders can reduce their taxable income by up to $6,000 per year when they place the money into an IRS-approved IRA. Everyone's situation is unique, so remember to check with your own CPA, attorney, or financial expert before investing in any kind of IRA.
But, there's a small problem with traditional IRAs: They can only hold intangible assets. For instance, typical working people put cash, corporate stocks, government bonds, mutual fund shares, and various other intangibles into their IRAs. What about folks who want to use things like gold and silver for their IRAs?
The answer is that traditional retirement accounts are not legally allowed to hold anything except intangible assets. The good news for investors is that there are laws on the books that allow for a special kind of IRA known as a "self-directed individual retirement arrangement/account." These SDIRAs, as they're called, can and do hold tangible assets like silver, palladium, platinum, and gold.
Why would anyone choose an SDIRA over a traditional account? There are lots of good reasons, primarily that many people simply don't prefer to invest in the securities markets.
Still, others wish to maintain both kinds of IRAs at the same time, which is completely legal as long as they don't exceed the annual IRA limit of $6,000 in contributions. Folks 50 and over get a slight break with a higher limit of $7,000 per year.
There are some unique advantages of having an SDIRA, like a gold-backed IRA. First, metals in a retirement account can be a smart way to achieve total account diversification. Other possible benefits are a virtually unlimited amount of long-term growth. Then there are people who just want the full personal control that comes with an SDIRA that contains gold and that they can manage directly.
How To Open an Account With Birch Gold Group
BGG has worked hard to develop a simple system for new IRA investors or those who are rolling over their current IRA or 401(k) into a Birch account. First, the process begins with a look at the BGG website's main page or education page, where interested parties can ask for a no-cost information kit.
For those who decide, after reviewing the kit, to invest in a BGG retirement account, the next step is to call the phone number on the site and speak directly with one of the Birch investing specialists. The team member will take you through the short five-step process for funding and opening a gold-backed IRA.
What are the steps once a person makes contact with a BGG rep and decides to open an account? First, you'll be asked how you want to fund the account. Typical choices include rolling over an existing IRA or depositing cash into a new BGG IRA. The second step is choosing which metals to include in your new SDIRA with Birch.
At this point, it's helpful to ask the reps about the current market prices of all the metals and find out which forms, like rounds or bars, are available for your particular account. Step three is a careful, guided review of the entire order and total purchase. The Birch reps are experts at making sure everything is accurate and that customers know exactly what their options are.
The fourth and fifth steps are extremely simple. Customers choose where they want their gold, silver, platinum, or palladium to be stored. Options include the many locations offered by BGG, all of which are locations within the legal borders of the US.
Finally, new account holders can check on the performance of their assets any time they wish via regular statements of account or by keeping an eye on the ever-changing values of the metals within their accounts.
Quick Contact Info For BGG
Contacting Birch is easy, and the company makes it simple for website visitors and anyone else to get in touch with them. First, the basic data:
BGG's toll-free phone number is 800.355.2116
The company's physical address is in sunny Burbank, California, at: Central Park Building, 3500 W Olive Ave, Suite 300, Burbank, CA, 91505
You can reach Birch personnel via email at: email@example.com
Their regular website address is www.birchgold.com
Then, there's a lot more detailed contact info on the website's "Contact Us" page, which is at: https://www.birchgold.com/contact-us/. There, you'll discover a few interesting tidbits, like the fact that it's possible to sign up for an informational newsletter, a no-cost 2022 info kit, and more from the "I'm Interested In" tab near the top of the page.
Also on the contact page of BGG's website, visitors will find a handy scroll of up-to-the-minute precious metals prices for gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. There's also a handy fill-in-the-blank form for those who request an info kit or want to sign up for the newsletter.
Birch Gold Group's official office hours, should you wish to call them or speak live with a rep, are Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., US Pacific Standard Time.
Our Recommendation and Objective Determination
Birch Gold Group is one of the standouts in its niche. The two main negatives include the company's relatively high initial investment amount of $10,000 and the fact that the markup on a few of the products on its menu is quite high. Other than that, Birch excels at customer service, having an expert team of reps, offering a wide range of IRA and non-IRA metals products, dealing with the few complaints that arise, and working hard to maintain its solid reputation in the industry.
Birch Gold Group - FAQs
Our research team checked out dozens of online resources to see what people were asking about BGG, gold IRA and precious metals investing in general. Here's what we discovered, along with answers to the main FAQs we encountered.
Alternative To Birch Gold Group: Goldco
No two people have the exact same preferences and criteria when it comes to the gold IRA marketplace. That's why we've included the following section about our top recommended company Goldco
Precious metals investment fees of the various competitors in this niche vary a lot, as do the lists of ratings and complaints, products and services, company structure, etc. In order to give our readers at least one other view of a reputable provider in this market sector, here's our in-depth review of Goldco